Explore life on the Mississippi River! Find out how different communities, farming families, and the US Army Corps of Engineers have all utilized the river. Choose your own adventure on the river with the Mississippi Trail Interactive. Hear what the 1927 flood was like for a family that lived through it. See some of the river's fish up close in our 1,515 gallon aquarium. The Lower Mississippi River Museum provides a unique and interactive way to learn about the history, people, and events that have been a part of the Mighty Mississippi.
The experience begins at the “Orientation Theater,” where visitors will explore a centuries-long chronicle of how the Corps of Engineers, disasters, conflict, revolution and war have shaped the Mississippi River experience and spirit. The orientation theater seats 50 comfortably and is an excellent way to begin your tour of the actual museum. The theater consists of seating, large projector screen, and a projector with surround sound where PowerPoint presentations can be given.
Steamboat Era & River as a Highway
Steamboats played a major role in the overall development of the MS River Valley during the 1800s. It made it possible, so that, large amounts of supplies and people could be transported with ease and the number of vessels on the Mississippi River dramatically increased. The displays that are present are amazing and detailed. There are even discussion panels accompanied by displays that go back to Native Americans using Flatboats and dugout canoes, as transportation along the river. This area in the museum is known as “River as a Highway”.
River as Home
The wall mural shows an older picture of the city of Vicksburg along the MS River and this exhibit shows how they benefitted from being close to the river through the centuries. This place was called ‘home’ by many different people of different cultures, and their stories were similar. The river has provided transportation, trade, environmental settings for hunting and fishing, and created rich farmland. Also, there’s a timeline of the beginning of Vicksburg up to the opening date of the museum and significant events during that time.
The Early Corps exhibit gives a timeline of the corps starting in the late 1700s and how its missions have changed over time in response to our nations needs. There are several kiosks in this area that gives a visitor the opportunity to create his/her own adventure by choosing 1 of 3 characters and travel down the mighty Mississippi between 1830s and 1850s. The adventure is called the “Mississippi Trail Interactive”
1927 Flood Wall
The Wall connects the rivers’ history directly to Vicksburg and National Military Park located in Vicksburg. Although transportation along rail and road were impacted, the commerce moving by riverboat was hardly affected. Towns such as Vicksburg and Natchez still welcomed steamers on a daily basis.
1927 Flood Tent
The museum setup a replicate tent of the 1927 Flood which is an example of the tents in “tent city” for the displaced families during that time. Inside of the tent is staged with items what a family may had in their tent during that time. There are features interactive where a family of 4 tells about their experience during the 1927 Flood.
The MR&T wall consist of several panels, exhibit displays, interactive monitors, and It show photos of all MR&T flood control methods including levees, floodways, reservoirs, dredging, mat sinking unit, etc. There are three interactive monitors that consist of one question each regarding ‘What Approach Would You Use To Protect the MS River Valley’. It will give you the pros and cons according to your answer.
MRC and MV MS IV Reader Rail
There is display setup that gives two main focuses: Mississippi River Commission and a day in the life. Motor Vessel Mississippi IV was a diesel-powered vessel with an all-steel superstructure. Powered by two 8-cylinder engines, the vessel was a Corps of Engineers towboat and inspection vessel for the Mississippi River Commission. It served from 1961 until decommissioned in 1993.
River of Tomorrow
This features a video of children discussing the river, its benefits, and why it is so important to them.
River of Commerce
There is an interactive monitor with a sound dome that gives detail information on each port that is listed on the panel when a tourist selects a port. Port of Vicksburg is ranked 11th among US inland ports based on trip ton miles; local commerce imports and exports. The panels show commerce on the river as a whole and efficiency comparison of barges.
There is a kiosk positioned that enables the user to view all divisions USACE wide as well as districts with major mission descriptions and photos. There are two panels that explain the area or the states that exist in the Vicksburg District on one panel and the other panel shows the different missions of the Vicksburg District.
ERDC and flood table
The ERDC wall consists of panels with photos, write ups, and monitors with sound domes that briefly explain ERDC’s missions. The flood table is a similar model of the MS and the Ohio Rivers at Cairo, IL. There are several rubbing plates on each end of the flood table that will be fun for the kids or even adults.
The aquarium will house species of fish that are native to the lower Mississippi River like the catfish. The aquarium is beautiful designed and it’s huge with multisided viewing. It holds approximately 1,515 gallons. Witness marine life native to the lower Mississippi River.
The theatre informs tourists of the different animals and the habitats along the MS River. There are wooden figures that tourists can test his/her knowledge of guessing which habitat the animal lives by sliding the figure. There are flip charts for each animal with a brief write up of the animal on the backside to give your more detail facts about the animals.
River of History/River’s Path
This exhibit gives the visitor an idea of how this living river has evolved and changed throughout history.
Military Civil War
Do you want to know how the Great River has been influential in military conquests? This exhibit will briefly explain how.
Mapping Surveying (Transit)
This exhibit shows how the technology has transformed from late 1800’s to present and a comparative between old versus new techniques.
Tourists will be able to create a channel and witness its natural meander.
View a scaled model of a US Coast Guard buoy used as a navigation aid for watercraft on the Mighty Mississippi.
The M/V Mississippi IV
The vessels which have served as the Mississippi always pulled “double duty” serving both as a Corps work vessel and as the MRC’s river inspection vessel and public meeting venue. During the traditional high-water and low-water seasons each spring and summer, the members of the MRC conduct inspection trips and public meetings aboard the Mississippi at various locations along the length of the Mississippi River.
Mississippi River Flood Model
The Mississippi River watershed is the third largest watershed in the world. Visit our outdoor scaled model of a section of the Mighty Mississippi River. This interactive flood model allows visitors to see how different factors can change a river. You can alter the river's course and control the water flow by opening and closing dams and other river features.